Bellevue has been enjoying a lot of momentum these days, especially in its downtown core. Growth is growth, and Bellevue’s downtown remains vibrant! Even beyond downtown, there are some big-picture moves that point to a very bright future with sleeves-rolled-up planning in this growing Eastside city. We’re high-spotting a few developments of note and can’t wait for what’s next:

555 Tower: Bellevue’s tallest building yet – The 555 Tower will be Bellevue’s tallest building at 42 stories and one of the largest new office spaces nationwide set for completion in 2023. It will certainly be the Seattle area’s biggest office property when completed later this year. Vulcan-owned, the 555 Tower stands at 600 feet and will have one million square feet of space inside. Amazon reported to media it plans to lease the building and occupy the first 19 floors. The building features multiple outdoor terraces with views, a public plaza, and large parking garage. The tower also has 30,000 square feet designated for retail.

Amazon lease at The Artise – Amazon will further expand its Bellevue footprint with a lease at The Artise, a 25-story office tower that opens in early 2024. Located at 788 106th Ave N.E. will have approximately 609,000 square feet of space, including about 5,000 square feet of retail and an underground parking garage with 900 stalls. For the most part, Amazon has kept its regional leases (except for the West 8th building in the Denny Triangle), and recent reports indicate it has more in Bellevue planned. Those return-to-work accommodations are coming together quickly.

Bellevue Plaza Apartments – In spring, Bellevue City Council approved the design for a mixed-use Bellevue apartment building at 10850 NE Eighth St.  Plans for the Bellevue Plaza Apartments include the construction of two, five-story structures, made up of 244,095 gross square feet additions over an existing parking garage. There will be a total of 312 residential units, along with about 3,900 square feet of commercial and retail space.

Related: Pikes Peak Reservoir – Although not downtown, this improvement is a major nod to all of Bellevue’s continued growth: the City of Bellevue completed construction of its new Pikes Peak Reservoir in Bridle Trails State Park in June. Seismically reinforced, it will serve the water needs of Bellevue residents for generations and replaces an old, million-gallon-capacity steel facility. The new concrete reservoir increases capacity to 1.25 million gallons. The upgrade assures retaining an abundant water supply for the whole of Bellevue and ensures adequate fire protection for the residents of the Bridle Trails, Pikes Peak, and Cherry Crest neighborhoods.

Bellevue’s Comprehensive Plan Periodic Update – It’s also that time, when Bellevue edges closer in planning its growth for the next 20 years. Following several City Council meetings, it opted for a “Preferred Alternative” for study in its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the city’s Comprehensive Plan Periodic Update. This update impacts zoning and housing growth for the 2024-2044 time window. Although the selected alternative would increase the city’s capacity for housing by tens of thousands of units, many neighborhood centers near frequent transit will retain low-rise zoning.

Growth is growth, and Bellevue’s downtown remains vibrant. Other plan elements include missing middle housing considerations, rezoning opportunities in the downtown-bordering Wilburton neighborhood (due to its light rail station construction as part of the Central Bellevue Segment of East Link along with the East Main, Bellevue Downtown and Spring District/120th Stations), another look at tree zoning, and much more.

We’ll be watching as the next 20 years of Bellevue planning is mapped out, but the momentum to date is certainly promising. If you’re commercial real estate pursuits find you interested in a Bellevue opportunity, we’re here to help.

If you’re seeking quality commercial real estate investments throughout the Pacific Northwest, we’re here to help. Juniper Capital provides private real estate financing, including hard money loans for commercial, construction, multifamily residential opportunities and more. If you would like more information on this topic, contact us today.